Date published: 3rd August 2009
Source: Europa Press (translated into English by 3.071 Km).
Tel Aviv is considering banning international funding to NGOs critical of the campaign in Gaza
The Israeli government calls on Spain to “reconsider” the “disproportionate” funding to local NGOs critical of Tel Aviv
JERUSALEM, Aug. 2 (EUROPA PRESS) —
Senior Israeli government were considering banning foreign governments, including the Spanish, to finance local NGOs especially critical after Tel Aviv bombing campaign in the Gaza Strip, an issue already dealt with the representatives of countries Netherlands, United Kingdom, and this week, members of the Executive President José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, according to local media.
The restlessness of the Israeli government is built around the case of the NGO Breaking the Silence (Shrovim Shtika), headquartered in Hebron (West Bank), which published on July 15 in an extensive report which reflected the testimony of 30 revealed that Israeli soldiers, according to the document, brutal tactics employed by the Israeli Army during the bombing in the Gaza Strip (Operation Cast Lead) in January, including “the use of phosphorous gas in populated areas the murder of innocent people with small arms and destruction of private property “under a” permissive atmosphere in the command structure that allowed the soldiers act without moral restraints. ”
One of the most robust within the Israeli government to international funding of NGOs is the head of policy planning in the Office of the Prime Minister, Ron Dermer, who considered this as a “shameless and unacceptable” interference in internal affairs israel. “That European governments funded NGOs in the war against United States is as unacceptable as the European funded NGOs not only oppose the policies of the democratically elected Government of Israel, but trying to delegitimize the Jewish State,” he added in statements to the Hebrew newspaper.
In response to the Israeli Government, a dozen Israeli Human Rights organizations have expressed their support today to break the silence in a letter to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Foreign Minister, Avigdor Lieberman, which is protesting the Israeli government’s attack on the group, which reached its climax when the government tried to prevent the influx of funds to NGOs.
“The testimonies of the soldiers,” the letter continued, “do not tell the story ‘official’ that the Israeli Government has communicated to the public, and put a question mark over the title of ‘most moral army in the world”, which employs Tel Aviv assiduously. “Instead of starting a public debate on these testimonies, the Government has chosen to wage a frontal assault with the publication of unsubstantiated allegations to undermine the credibility of the organization and the findings of the report,” according to the text signed by the association of NGOs, some of them financed by the Spanish Government.
According to the newspaper ‘Haaretz’, sources in the Israeli government met with representatives of the Directorate of International Cooperation, Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs to “review the funding provided by Spain to NGOs dealing with the Arab-Israeli conflict.”
Among the Israeli NGOs that have received funding Spanish is not only Breaking the Silence. Organizations like the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, the Israeli Committee against house demolitions, and Rabbis for Human Rights have also received financial support from the Spanish government, according to the newspaper ‘Jerusalem Post’.
The minister counselor of the Embassy of Spain in Tel Aviv, Juan González Barba, the newspaper said that the test that follows this funding is based on the principles of ” Spanish cooperation” and that “it is not always easy to judge and decide which groups should get the funding” quoted by the Hebrew newspaper.
Since Tel Aviv is understood that the criterion is “disproportionate” in relation to money that is given to Spain from other NGOs in Arab countries, according to official sources consulted by ‘Haaretz’ who, however, ensure that the original intention is to differentiate those groups “working for peace and coexistence” of those NGOs with a political purpose against the Israeli government. “